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Comment Not Until... (Score 1) 289

...there's so sort of open connectivity between disparate messaging services, the way there is for SMS or phone calls. Right now, I can call anyone with a phone from any other phone, regardless of who made the phones or what company is providing the service.

Meanwhile, it seems like every couple of weeks, someone is asking me to install whatever the hip new messaging app of the month is. No, I'm not going to install a program that just duplicates the functionality of four or five other programs I already have just so I can talk to one person.

Comment Re:Even-Numbered Windows Version (Score 2) 720

A lot of old software would differentiate if it was running on a Windows 95 or Windows 98 system by checking if the OS Name string began with "Windows 9". Microsoft jumped from Windows 8 to Windows 10 to avoid creating problems if someone tried to run one of these apps on a Windows 9 system.

Comment Re:Backdoors and Encryption (Score 4, Insightful) 345

Conservatives give to charity at a much higher rate than libs.

Only if you count donations to churches, the vast majority of which ends up getting returned to the donors in the form of member services.

If I pay a psychologist for marriage counselling, no one considers it charity. If you pay a minister's salary for it, it does.
If I pay to join a country club to attend social gatherings, no one considers it charity. If you pay for a church building to host social gatherings, it does.

If you look at money spent on actual public philanthropy efforts (which for most churches is a tiny fraction of their budget), liberals donate far more than conservatives.

Comment Open Source Awards (Score 2) 44

A couple months ago, we discussed news that Mozilla was planning to give back to the open source projects they rely on, to the tune of $1 million. Now, Mozilla has announced the first round of awards, giving out $503,000 in the process.

Oracle immediately created a fork where Larry Elison won all the awards.

Comment Re:Fingerprints are Hashable (Score 1) 242

Not only CAN there be, there MUST be. If there is absolutely no invariant whatsoever, then there is no way to explictly distinguish between two fingerprints that match or don't match. The phrase "small errors" implies a distinction between variations that are truly part of the data and variations that are part of the "error".

Comment Re:Fingerprints are Hashable (Score 1) 242

You can't eliminate all variations.

Sure you can. Unless the detction algorithm accepts every potential fingerprint is presented, there is implictly some invariant feature of the fingerprint that is being used to make the decision. Eliminate everything but that invariant during pre-processesing and you have something you can hash on.

At some point you'll have to check whether fabs(x,y)

Quantize x and y.

Comment Re:Tradition (Score 1) 284

During WWII, US Census data was used to identify Japanese citizens to be rounded up an placed in camps. We also no that it's been used since 9/11 to keep tabs on "suspicious individuals".

No one knows what the government will be like in the future, and questions that seem harmless now may end up being used to hang you later.

Comment It's Not and All or None Question (Score 1) 568

Some people working on software development are rightly considered engineers, some are just programmers.

The people Ian Bagost works with are almost certainly just programmers. They people developing flight control software for Boeing, on the other hand, are almost certainly engineers.

The distinction is is the level of rigor in the design, coding, and testing being applied.

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